National Get Outdoors Day

Do we really need a designated day to remind us to enjoy the outdoors? This past weekend's National Get Outdoors Day may sound silly to some, but it's a good reminder to others. For me, I am reminded of the term Nature Deficit Disorder, coined by Richard Louv . Playing at the playground, riding bikes and playing soccer or baseball are all good, but different from spending unstructured time exploring nature. We announced to our 3 sons that today they are going - on their own - into the forest behind our house. They are to stay together and not go farther than the clearing. 'What for?" asks our youngest. "Can we bring the sound machine?" asks another. (This lovely gadget makes different sounds like a laugh track, the sound of applause and yes, the sound of a gun.)  "How about the slinky - it doesn't make noise," asks the third With no slinky, no sound machines and no parents, the boys went tentatively and bravely into the forest. I made a mental note of the time and when I would go get them if they weren't back. This is new to all of us. Upon their return, they explained how they looked for spots to hide a treasure and make an orienteering map for their friends to find the spot. I felt a little triumphant, unless of course, the treasure turns out to be a sound machine or slinky. Here's the link to the National Get Outdoors Day site, with the theme song for kids (good for any old day).

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